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Author Topic: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?  (Read 1411 times)

NavPoint

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Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« on: 22 August 2021, 03:54:58 »
Hi, I'm not wondering about the BattleValue of any specific unit or equipment. I'm wondering about the BV formula itself.

There are some constants, like 2.5 for an armor multiplier. Obviously armor is more valuable than internal structure, but how did we arrive at "2.5"? The Offensive Speed Factor has a "5" that we subtract, and then a "1.2" exponent. I assume some values had analysis behind them, like the 0.5 XL engine modifier (maybe on average it takes half the damage to destroy an XL-equipped 'Mech?), and the 6 in the 'Mech Heat Efficiency (is probably related to the penalties incurred in the heat scale?).

Just wondering if there's a reason for each constant to have its specific value, or if they were tweaked over and over until someone said 'eh, good enough'.

« Last Edit: 22 August 2021, 04:01:18 by NavPoint »

Xotl

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #1 on: 22 August 2021, 16:51:43 »
The members of the team that created BV 2 are, as far as I know, no longer around, and so the research and methodology that went into it is mostly lost.  I tried to get some information from one of them at one point, but was rebuffed.  So any future work is going to have to be from scratch, and/or reverse engineered from formulas and old forum posts.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #2 on: 22 August 2021, 17:02:36 »
The members of the team that created BV 2 are, as far as I know, no longer around, and so the research and methodology that went into it is mostly lost.  I tried to get some information from one of them at one point, but was rebuffed.  So any future work is going to have to be from scratch, and/or reverse engineered from formulas and old forum posts.
I remember being in the testing for that (Playtester, "Total Warfare" and "Tech Manual").  the process for coming up with the constants was pretty messy, and we had pages upon pages of debates going before the base multipliers were completed, not the least of which was because BV2 was going to debut the whole 'Force size multiplier" which turned into its own fiasco after publication despite our efforts.

Later on, there was an issue involving order of operations when someone did the calculations in the wrong order, and wound up with different values (it didn't even occur to us that somebody would DO THAT!!)  To give you an idea:  (1+1)*2=4, where as 1+(1*2)=3.  Order of operations is IMPORTANT.

That in turn generated some errata of its own.

Thing is, it didn't pop up in a vacuum, so you'd have to go back more than 25 years to find the basis that it began with, because that's roughly how far back you need to go to find the first move away from tonnage balancing, which was 'combat value'.

The process was, on the whole, more evolutionary than revolutionary from there.
« Last Edit: 22 August 2021, 17:05:22 by Cannonshop »
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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #3 on: 23 August 2021, 06:31:39 »
There also was an article about CEF (Combat Efficiency Factor) in BattleTechnology mag #7 ((c)1988), and later expanded for 3050 and Clan tech in ##17 and 18. That seems to be the earliest attempt (and maybe FASA test balloon?) of a balancing mechanism.
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #4 on: 23 August 2021, 07:07:41 »
Myself and others have tinkered with the BV code in MegaMek to further improve upon unit balance, mostly having to do with the way heat/overheat is scored in BV2.  Other tweaks address the pilot skill BV multipliers.  Some of those efforts are MegaMek game options now.
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Geg

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #5 on: 23 August 2021, 11:07:24 »
Which books has the Force Size Multiplier rules these days (or the last one that did)?

I have heard about it.   I don't think I have seen it.

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #6 on: 23 August 2021, 11:11:13 »
FSM was completely dropped. A completely new version is in development.
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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #7 on: 23 August 2021, 12:06:26 »
FSM was completely dropped.
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A completely new version is in development.
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Why would you want to undo all of this progress?!? PLEASE tell me it will be an optional rule at least...
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Adrian Gideon

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #8 on: 23 August 2021, 12:11:44 »
I’m listening.
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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #9 on: 23 August 2021, 12:14:44 »
Why would you want to undo all of this progress?!? PLEASE tell me it will be an optional rule at least...

Why wouldn't it be an optional rule?  Your game after all :)

IIRC the old Combat Ops book had rules for a force size multiplier that assigned weights depending on unit type, like BA and protomechs were weighed less than battlemechs.  I liked that implementation more than the one that was removed.
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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #10 on: 23 August 2021, 12:59:16 »
I’m listening.

Does it need to be a BV fix.  I would like that a lot of tricks that go into making a Clan vs. IS game work would translate over into the space that a FSM would occupy.

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I might be over simplifying this, but my understanding is you need to both minimize the initiative advantage or fielding more units (#1&#2), the statistical advantage you get from a high volume of dice (#3), and limit abuse of stacking rules (#4&#5).

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #11 on: 23 August 2021, 14:31:19 »
There's nothing TO fix. If one side has superior numbers, then their units are individually weaker. The smaller force can kill a few, and then the sides are even. Done. The distributed nature of Battletech initiative(as opposed to moving the entire force at once) means that unless the difference in units is truly massive, it's only one or two extra units per movement pairing anyway. And if it's anything like the old FSM, it'll punish folks who might want to actually incorporate cheaper units in their games like infantry, IndyMechs, or light mechs/vees.
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NavPoint

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #12 on: 23 August 2021, 14:42:36 »
It feels weird to hijack my own topic, but you people must know the answer to this:

Is the Warhawk-Prime's BV calculated wrong?

Its "Heat Efficiency" is 44 (40 dissipation, plus 6 mystery number, minus 2 for movement).

Techmanual says:

1.) Add the full BV of the weapon, and add its Heat Value to the running heat total, beginning at zero.
2.) If this new heat is less than or equal to the ‘Mech Heat Efficiency, repeat the above steps. Otherwise, add half the BV for the first weapon that exceeds the unit’s Heat Efficiency and half the BV for all remaining weapons to the Base Weapon Battle Rating, then continue to the next step.

Shouldn't the Warhawk's third PPC should only count half its BV(the weapon puts us to at least 45 heat, which exceeds the 44 heat efficiency rating)? It seems to be being counted for its full 515 point value instead.

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #13 on: 23 August 2021, 14:52:25 »
Which books has the Force Size Multiplier rules these days (or the last one that did)?

It's on page 314 of my first printing of Tech Manual.
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NavPoint

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Re: Where do the BV formula's constants come from?
« Reply #14 on: 23 August 2021, 14:54:12 »
Ohhhh, I see it. The ordering of the steps makes it so we add the full BV first, but don't 'go back' to cut it in half for the one that put it over the edge.

Does it make more sense to do it something like:

1.) If the weapon's heat would exceed the efficiency threshold, do not add the heat, and add half the weapon's BV. Otherwise add its heat and full BV.
2.) Repeat for the next-highest BV weapon.

?